Joshua and his men try to take the city of Ai with only a few thousand men. The problem is that some guy named Achan of the tribe of Judah had taken some of the treasure from Jericho for himself. God was mad at this and allowed the men of Ai to defeat the Israelites. God tells Joshua that someone has sinned and tells Joshua to figure out who it is and get his gold back. Joshua gets Achan to confess and gets the treasure back for “God” and kills Achan’s entire family, his sons and daughters and his ox by stoning and burning alive.
Or, to put it another way:
The psychotic dictator, who is ordering people to kill and steal on his behalf, goes ballistic when someone steals from him.
Joshua 7:1 – I love the names. Achan, son of Carmi, son of Zabdi, son of Zerah. T
Why I like this chapter:
I like this chapter because in the first verse (Joshua 7:1) we are told, Achan and his family “committed a trespass in the accursed thing” and we don’t find out until later exactly what the accursed thing is. Turns out, he took a robe and some gold for himself during the looting, which doesn’t seem heinous or “accursed” at all. But this chapter is great because it does keep you guessing. What on earth could have gotten God that mad? Really? He’s mad because he told people to steal the gold, they steal the gold, but he kept it from him and that’s a sin and an accursed thing? Really?
Least favorite bit:
Joshua 7: 10 thru 15 – I really dislike it when political leaders invoke God as the reason for their brutality.
Moral Lesson Learned:
Seriously, don’t allow psychotic people to rule over you. They are really incredibly brutal and they will find ways to justify their horrid actions, even if it means telling everyone God wants me to do this.